The Salt Mind

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

The plan was always for me to return to ‘work’, aka gainful employment, after finishing several major sustainability improvement projects to our mountain top homestead. After nearly two years of continuous work on over a dozen undertakings large and small, several months ago the time finally arrived. Of course, the plan always assumed local and national financial conditions were such that a job was available for me to fill. If not…..well, that was precisely why we had improved our ability to self sustain in the face of national (or global) economic disaster.

So for those of you who have been wondering where the hell Cog is………now you know. Cog has been willingly laboring away at the local (assuming anything twenty four miles away can be termed ‘local’) big box retail salt mine. And no, I am not a Wal-Mart greeter……yet. Suffice to say I work in a physically demanding retail sales environment as an hourly wage slave working swing shifts any day or evening of the week including holidays and weekends. At least it comes with full benefits, though I don’t think I will be joining the 401(k) ‘retirement’ plan or the company discount stock purchase plan anytime soon.

Combine nine hour work days with an hour and a half of commute, add in the physical exhaustion experienced as I return to fighting shape and my weight of thirty plus years ago, sprinkle on top the occasional errand while visiting civilization, the time spent on daily prep for work as well as the unwind when returning home (one does not go directly to sleep after getting home at midnight) and clearly my writing has suffered.

Mrs. Cog, to her credit and my relief, has been quite supportive, picking up much of the daily homestead work load while packing dynamite lunches/suppers filled with yummy healthy food and love notes galore. It just doesn’t get any better than this. My biggest regret is not being able to devote as much time as I wish to the love of my life. Mrs. Cog and I have been inseparable over the last four years, so clearly the last two months have been a shock to the family unit. Thankfully our relationship has never been stronger and is based upon clear lines of communication, mutual respect and understanding and, most importantly, a deep and lasting love.

A surprisingly significant, though not in the least unexpected, change within me has been the partial metamorphosis from independent thinker and sovereign individual to punch card corporate drone who is no longer master of his universe. It has been utterly fascinating observing firsthand over the last two months the at times subtle, at times monumental, changes to my mindset. Who says you cannot be reinserted into the Matrix because the steak is quite ‘real’ and tastes great to boot.

For more than ten years I have been either self employed or just plain old unemployed, though most certainly I have been hard at work during my self-imposed hiatus from a corporately structured ‘work’ environment. Such is no longer the case and I have been genuinely shocked how easy it has been to slip back into the ‘Salt Mind’ while laboring away at the salt mine. The sad reality is the ‘real’ world is structured first and foremost by the ‘work’ environment, and then firmly cemented in place by the fictional world of fiat and its associated debt. I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.

Let me count the ways my ‘Salt Mind’ is slowly subverted even as I am fully aware not only of the effects, but the underlying subjugating process. It all seems so natural, normal even, warm and fuzzy and oh so familiar. Like riding a bike or driving a car after a long absence, the natural born skills of the slave mind bred from birth eagerly springs to the surface when willingly summoned from the depths. The sweet smell and comforting familiarity of my indentured servitude is a powerful aphrodisiac and comes complete with mind numbing tunnel vision and powerful natural pain killers.

Being the type of personality who enjoys interacting with my fellow man, I have quickly bonded with my ‘teammates’ as we put our noses to the grind stone and our backs into the oars as we row, row, row our retail boat in circles. Yesterday’s sales were great…..but what have you done for me lately? There is nothing quite like the narrow perspective and near total mental blackout imposed by the corporate sales treadmill.

With just enough carrot and plenty of beating stick, it doesn’t take much to spur me and my fellow peons on as we row the Imperial Roman galley ever onward. Technology may change the mode of operation, but the mindset remains the same. Battle speed! Attack speed! Ramming speed! Number forty one, you’d better pick up the slack or you’ll taste my lash. Another day of rowing to the mind numbing beat of the corporate sales drum.

Actors as Galley Slaves inAnother day older and deeper in debt.

Of course slave ‘working’ conditions have greatly improved since the days of Ben Hur, though I would strenuously argue the ‘Salt Mind’ has greatly degraded under the guise of so called free will, self rule aka ‘democracy’, consumerism and the accompanying self will run riot. The only thing more impenetrable than an addicted mind is the co-dependent ‘Salt Mind’. I’ll gladly accept pitiful wages two Friday’s hence for a meaningless day’s work today. For those who scoff at this analogy just wait and see how disastrously co-dependent the ‘Salt Mind’ becomes when they abolish cash/currency and economic marginalization is just a despot’s computer click away.

Those who warn of a disastrous dystopian future coming around the bend are hopelessly blind to the obviousness of the ‘Dystopian Now’. It is not a matter of if or even when, but rather of depth and degree. Anyone who thinks the lives we live are ‘natural’ doesn’t understand the power of alternative reality creation and deep seated generational human conditioning. We are what we think more so than what we eat.

Our own imagination, creativity and adaptability, the root power of our sovereignty and individuality, is brilliantly leveraged against us in the name of the common good and personal sustenance. The belly growls daily and our minds become increasingly desperate and narrow the longer we go between meals. Bottom line, as long as my meager porridge bowl is filled on a daily basis I ain’t gonna stop rowing. God forbid they don’t fill it again tomorrow.

I haven’t punched a time clock in nearly thirty five years, having either worked for myself since I was 23 or in a corporate sales environment where I was strictly commission compensated, therefore I determined my own hours and working conditions. If I didn’t sell, I didn’t eat, greatly simplifying for me (and my ‘employer’) when, where and how I was to actually ‘work’. No need for the lash since my hungry belly punched its own time clock. A self regulating slave is so much more profitable and efficient for the master.

So it has been with growing shock and awe that I have watched myself willingly, even gratefully, arrange my life, and to a great extent that of my family, around the corporate schedule handed down each Wednesday via internet delivered stone tablets. This is where I shall be when I am told to be, so help me God. There is even a helpful drop down box used to request special dispensation from the corporate Gods when I must attend personal, medical or legal appointments. Thank you Sir, may I have another. The corporate lashing isn’t so bad if you can dull the pain and discomfort. The mind numbing relief afforded by the glowing idiot box makes more sense to me now, though I continue to resist that dead end.

The Cog household soldiers on primarily because my employment is temporary in nature and for the most part voluntary. It affords us the means and opportunity to further our goal of increasing our independence and sustainability. Several weeks in the salt mine means another row of solar panels will be added to the growing roof top array. Several months fighting the ‘Salt Mind’ will put us that much closer to a new tractor or other needed power equipment. More efficient windows are sorely needed and a third alternative heating source is on the drawing board. And of course the new greenhouse is that much closer to fruition.

Sadly for the vast majority of my fellow laborers the ultimate goal is the failed and fictitious American Dream, that of a prosperous and productive working life followed by ‘retirement’, meaning the ceasing of manual labor and the total pursuit of self centered happiness. Walk into any retail store or big box outlet these days and carefully study the attending staff. Chances are you will find the majority sporting gray hair and an old age shuffle. There’s your retirement in glorious full frontal nudity.

A surprisingly large proportion of my fellow wage slaves were at one time small business men and women who were pushed out of their chosen (self-employed) occupation for any of a hundred reasons, most of which have to do with the continuing economic slowdown (I would argue reversal) and the crowding out of their means of independence by abusive taxes and regulations, corporate elbowing and political disadvantages. Small fish in big ponds usually get assimilated or eaten.

At some future date I shall explore more thoroughly the prevailing characteristics of the ‘Salt Mind’ from the first person point of view. Stay tuned as I continue my self-lobotomization.

 

05-27-2015

Cognitive Dissonance

 

Salt Mind Play - CleanSalt Mind Entertainment

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8 thoughts on “The Salt Mind”

  1. Cog – wow!
    The lovely Mrs Cog has one amazing man.
    As a man on the cusp of his sixtieth year & very likely several days away from “being severed”, I find your current observations and revelations both timely, & of great importance.
    When, and as time allows please continue your always enjoyed insights!

    polomaf

  2. FWIW

    If you have a Casino nearby (or a comparable commute) there is no way in hell you wouldn’t be able to beat a 5/5 game with some dedicated study for a $60 hourly. I suspect you’d enjoy the detailed analysis post and in game (and the realisation that most of the people our playing against aren’t doing this) and the flexibility it provides . Plus it always fun talking money off brokers and bankers and other assortments of degens. :P You’ll actually make some cool fiends their too, plus come across a whole range of colourful charters. Of course there is the sadness of people playing slots and blackjack.

    check out: http://www.crushlivepoker.com for insight into live games and the type of analysis that is need to beat the games.

    if our of the mindset that its gambling like blackjack checkout GTO Range builder for an idea on how complex it has become and why all the math whizzes are quitting their PhDs

    http://gtorangebuilder.com/#home

    I’d also suggest online poker, but the states has been locked out of all the reputable sites.

    Hit me up and I’d be more than happy to run though the tools you’d need to beat the games.

    1. Casinos feed the same beast within me that drinking does. Therefore I do not go there just as I no longer drink. But I do appreciate the alternative point of view.

      I played BlackJack for several years at a nearby casino when I was living in CT and made money doing so. But it brought out other aspects of my personality I did not like. Since I have not slain that beast I stay away from his den. :-)

      Cognitive Dissonance

      1. All good mate. At the end of the day casinos are the perfect example of everything wrong in our world, can’t fault you there.

        Have a ton of respect for what your doing and like the idea of looking at the grind in terms of ‘x solar panels earned’. Grind hard good sir :)

  3. A surprisingly large proportion of my fellow wage slaves were at one time small business men and women who were pushed out of their chosen (self-employed) occupation for any of a hundred reasons, most of which have to do with the continuing economic slowdown (I would argue reversal) and the crowding out of their means of independence by abusive taxes and regulations, corporate elbowing and political disadvantages. Small fish in big ponds usually get assimilated or eaten.

    This makes me so sad and has come up so frequently in conversations with loved ones. The ‘Dream’ becomes a nightmare and I can think of nothing worse than hitting 60 believing there is going to be light at the end of the tunnel, then to be hit like a bat to the face in the realisation that there isn’t and there never was going to be . So Brutal.

    1. Is the reality so brutal….or our collective delusions so deep? I find it fascinating that our collective dreams are fading as quickly as we destroy our society and ourselves. They are deeply connected and co-dependent. We create our own reality on an individual and group basis.

      Cognitive Dissonance

      1. Both I think. The collective and personal delusions act as the opiate to numb the pain of reality (mixed in with some actually sedatives and TV). I think gun to the head, forced to make a decision many people realise at some level all is not well. That’s the feeling I get when I speak one-on-one with folks. BUT that same individual in a group setting would probably still call me a heretic, or at least remain deathly silent… which may in fact be worse.

        The process of being stripped down to nothing like the older folks you talk about and forced to see everything you’ve thought was true become false is what I find brutal. Like something out of the novel 1984. Your forced to see, and then there’s nothing you can do about it, like some sort of sick joke: ‘oh you thought you’re going retire gracefully and relax??!? hahaha STFU and get to work’. A simple dream of owning a hardware shop or what have you, retiring at 65 to play with grandkids is not, or should’t have been much of an ask…. and yet here we are.

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